Trump united us as a nation with his first State of the Union address—by showing us that we're all in this horrifying 'Shitboat' together.
We urgently need your help. DAME reports the stories that need to be told, from perspectives that aren’t heard enough. In times of crisis it is even more critical that these voices are not overlooked, but COVID-19 has impacted our ability to keep publishing. Please support our mission by joining today to help us keep reporting.
A couple of years ago I was in a musical called Shitboat. It was a love story set on a cruise ship where all of the bathrooms were broken. What worked about Shitboat is that it had great jokes, a finale featuring the entire cast squatting and belting a Les Miz parody song called “One Shit More” in perfect four-part harmony, and most importantly, a run-time of 11minutes. The No. 1 rule about putting up a production of Shitboat is that it must never exceed 11 minutes. The president broke this rule by putting up a blasphemous, jokeless, song-less, eight-hour version of Shitboat last night. It was live, it was filmed, and it reeked of ancient cruise-ship turds.
He renamed it the State of the Union but I knew it was Shitboat. A lot of us knew. We knew the ship’s crystal ballroom was now the crystal bathroom and he was trying to sell this new, catastrophic development as a good thing. He was wrapping up feces in a fancy cloth napkin and calling it banana bread. Democrats knew when they looked at their State of the Uniom [sic] tickets, that they were in for a six-act production of Shitboat with no intermission. The weird part is half of the people in the audience loved the crystal diarrhea bathroom of it all. They kept standing up and applauding at the worst parts. Including him. He clapped 648 times directly into the microphone as he delivered a never-ending monologue of nationalism, greed, and strategic rounds of show-and-tell. Abstract Show and Tell, where he just took credit for good things he had little to do with, like the unemployment rate and the new jobs he provided. Things President Obama had a lot to do with. And then Show and Tell but with people not objects: The people were his props and it was heartbreaking. Good people. Grieving people. People who have suffered and want to feel like they matter. Carefully selected pawns, in the sweaty small palms of a hateful giant. He pretended to care about these people and used them for his revised alt-right version of Shitboat. The narrative wasn’t surprising, it is the narrative this administration thrives on. They gleefully splatter a canvas with hate and ignorance and try to make it sound wholesome and right. They caress our heads with racism and xenophobia. They coo a white-supremacist bedtime story and hope we fall asleep. I often wonder how this administration and the people who support it sleep at night. Sadly, I think they sleep soundly, shrouded in purple ribbons. Because their inherent racism is validated. Their racism is labeled patriotic. Their fear of others is rewarded.
Fabricating a narrative is a fancy way of saying “inventing a lie.” Inventing a lie and telling it so many times it sounds like the truth. Ask Woody Allen—he is an expert at this. So is Trump. They are professional liars who have coasted through life on yachts made of the severed limbs of women.
This depraved version of Shitboat casts Immigration and Customs Enforcement as heroes and all immigrants as villains. This version is a lie. This version is torture. This version is ethnic cleansing at its purest and most evil.
Clint Smith said it best:
Just to be clear: Trump brought out a grieving family to use as a part of a political performance meant to demonize immigrants as being inherently violent when the research clearly shows that immigrants, both documented & undocumented, commit less crime than native born Americans
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) January 31, 2018
If you need a refresher on ICE, they brutally rip families apart. They’ve done this for a lot longer than we’d all like to admit but under Trump, they have become even more abominable. They deport loving, hard-working mothers. They detain children like Maria Rosa, a 10-year-old with cerebral palsy immediately after her emergency surgery. They deport people who have lived in this country since they were infants to places they’ve never been. If they aren’t actively detaining or deporting people, they are using the constant threat of deportation as a method of psychological torture. They dutifully traumatize human beings. They loot and vandalize people’s homes and face no consequences. As the KKK is emboldened by this administration, so is ICE, and they are on the same team.
It was painful staring at the captain of Shitboat for the duration of the show for many reasons. His costume (the almost-human skin he attempts to wear). His dried Barilla spaghetti and dead cat-fur captain’s hat. There is something so unsettling about a bad wig authentically growing out of someone’s head. His abysmal slam poetry. His vile backup singers who never sang. They just sat behind him like hollow, spineless vultures, smugly nodding. Rising. Clapping. Pointing to their Mean Girl version of God like there’s a hole in the roof.
Paul Ryan had one line in Shitboat and he gloriously tanked it. “I have the high privilege and the distinct honor of preventing*
*coughs, shits the boat …
… presenting to you the president of the United States.” I believe this slip of his festering tongue was his conscience howling one final death moan.
It was very upsetting to look at the Democrats, green in the gills, being held hostage in the crystal bathroom of Shitboat.
God got a nice shoutout in this version of Shitboat. So did the military and beautiful, beautiful clean coal. And Guantánamo Bay, a prison known for its vicious methods of nefarious torture.
I watched this nauseating nightmare with my mom and she leaned over about 14 hours in and said, “So, basically he’s into torture.” I felt this pretty much summed up the whole Shitboat night, election, and year. Clint Smith and my mom nailed the State of the Union:
A standing ovation for torture
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) January 31, 2018
We urgently need your help!
Covid-19 has dramatically impacted our ability to keep publishing. DAME is 100% reader funded and without additional support, we can’t keep publishing. Become a member at DAME today to help us continue reporting and shining a light on the stories that need to be told, from perspectives that aren’t heard enough. Every dollar we receive from readers goes directly into funding our journalism. Please become a member today!
(If you liked this article and just want to make a one-time donation, you can do that here)
CONFUSED ABOUT VOTING?
We've got you covered!
Check out our state-by-state map for registration deadlines, early voting dates, and everything else you need to make your voice is heard on November 3rd 2020.